Report: Underage Drinking Laws Save 732 Lives Each Year


More than 730 lives are saved each year in the United States due to laws prohibiting underage drinking, according to a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Researchers examined 23 years of information on the subject to determine the success of age restriction laws on purchasing and possessing alcohol.

The study also shows an additional 165 lives would be saved if states adopted “use and lose” laws, which would suspend the license of anyone younger than 21 who is cited for possession, consumption or attempt to buy alcohol, according to Reuters.

The researchers evaluated the impact of six underage drinking laws and four general impaired-driving and traffic safety laws for the period 1982 through 2004. The four underage drinking-and-driving laws – possession, purchase, “use and lose” and “zero tolerance” – was associated with “significant decreases” in fatal crashes, according to the report.

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